Kanye West appears on the cover of the August issue of GQ. Here’s what we learned:
1. Fatherhood has changed his understanding of cool.
“I don’t like walking around with people thinking I’m doing uncool shit, because there’s nothing I’m doing that’s uncool. It’s all innovative. You just might not understand it yet. But it’s cool. Family is super cool. Going home to one girl every night is super cool. Just going home and getting on the floor and playing with your child is super cool. Not wearing a red leather jacket, and just looking like a dad and shit, is like super cool. Having someone that I can call Mom again. That shit is super cool.”
2. He’s OK with the fact that Jay Z and Beyoncé skipped his wedding.
“All that, I wouldn’t even speak on. It doesn’t even matter to me whatsoever, who would show up. Because the most important person to show up there, to me, was Kim. And that’s all that matters to me. I had to fight for that for seven years.”
3. His long wedding speech was all about how the internet has shaken up power culture.
“I said, “Wow, Carine is seven seats down from Kim. Farnaz [Farjam], the producer of the Kardashians and the producer of The Real World, is four seats down from [director] Steve McQueen. And four seats, because in between them is Hosain [Rahman] from Jawbone.” This is what I talked about. That was not a forty-five-minute speech to myself. Do you realize what that means for those people to be in that close of a proximity to each other?…I just wanted people to stop and think they weren’t sitting at a table full of fashion people, they weren’t sitting at a table full of celebrities, they weren’t sitting at a table full of movie directors. It really was a representation of the way we receive information today, post-Internet.”
4. He wants to fight for the rights of celebrities.
“…we’re going to fight to raise the respect level for celebrities so that my daughter can live a more normal life. She didn’t choose to be a celebrity. But she is. So I’m going to fight to make sure she has a better life.”
“I’m here to fight for the re-education of what celebrity is. To say, “Yes, we are celebrities, but yes, we’re also innovators, we’re also inventors, we’re also thoughtful.”
5. His next album may drop in September, but he’s not sure yet.
“I hope I can get one of these songs out in the next couple of weeks, just to have something up and running. But I think most likely September. I go back and forth. Like, should it be September or should it be October? Should it be November? When Beyoncé was working on her last album, she took a while. I was thinking it could somehow come out in June, like Yeezus, and just kill it for the summer.”
6. He thinks Drake beat him in 2013.
“He got last summer. And I’d never given it up till last summer.”
7. But he thinks the second rap verse on “New Slaves” is the best rap verse of all time.
“‘New Slaves.’ The second verse. I argue that it’s the best rap verse of all time. It’s the Coming to America or Anchorman of a verse. You know, it’s got the funny shit. It’s got the antagonization. It’s got patterns. It’s got social and political consciousness. It’s got struggle. It’s got bravado. It’s everything that a rap verse is supposed to be.”
8. Kim Kardashian is as “cool as a fucking fighter jet or a dinosaur.”
“Kim is this girl who fucking turns me on. I love her. This is who I want to be next to and be around. And then people would try to say, ‘Well, you know, if you’re a musician, you should be with a musician, and if you want to design, you need to be with a girl from the design world.’ I don’t give a fuck about people’s opinions. Because when a kid falls in love with an airplane or a bike or a dinosaur—especially if you’re an only child and it’s not because of the book that the sibling was reading—it’s like, fuck, you mean to tell me that the dinosaurs walked the earth and stuff like that?! That’s amazing! You mean to tell me that these giant multi-ton crafts can fly that fast and that loud, and they can flip, and there’s danger, the possibility of them exploding? That’s fucking cool! You mean to tell me that this girl with this fucking body and this face is also into style, and she’s a nice person, and she has her own money and is family-oriented? That’s just as cool as a fucking fighter jet or dinosaur! And just as rarely seen.”
9. You can’t win life without “Kim K skills.”
“She is who she is. I am who I am. We have advisers and friends and everything, but those people are who they are and we are who we are. And what I had to learn from Kim is how to take more of her advice and less of other people’s advice. There’s a lot of Kim K skills that were added. In order to win at life, you need some Kim K skills, period.”
10. He turns to Step Brothers for life advice.
“Like they said in Step Brothers: Never lose your dinosaur. This is the ultimate example of a person never losing his dinosaur. Meaning that even as I grew in cultural awareness and respect and was put higher in the class system in some way for being this musician, I never lost my dinosaur.”
11. He has some interesting theories about Carine [Roitfeld], the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris.
“Carine Roitfeld is the Walt Disney of what Tumblr is today. She is the Kanye West of what Tumblr is today. She’s the single most important person to what street style is today.”
12. He considers himself a “blowfish.”
“I’m a blowfish. I’m not a shark, I’m a blowfish. So that perfect example about me hitting my head, it’s like a blowfish…I’m defending my family in front of my own house. I’m defending my name as someone’s screaming something negative at me. That’s a blowfish. People have me pinned as a shark or a predator in some way, and in no way am I that. I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone.”
13. He is 50% responsible for every Balenciaga shoe sold.
“Listen to what I’m saying—me, as Kanye West: I guarantee you, I’m more than 50 percent responsible for every men’s shoe that they sell. Me, the singular person. More than 50 percent responsible for every Balenciaga shoe they sell. And they would say, “You can’t come to the show, because you are a celebrity.” But all honesty, no ego, I have a level of influence, and I have a level of respect for the designers. And we move product on that Barneys floor.”
14. He changed his tweeting strategy when he started dating Kim.
“[If] you look at half my tweets back then, they were always, like, funny tweets that I wouldn’t be able to say now. It wouldn’t be respectful to my relationship. It’s interesting, as I’m delving into being married: Like, what is my verbal creative communication?”
15. He might be a little psychic.
“And the joke was that I was supposed to say on the song [‘New Day,’] ‘Come on, Jay, you know we’re both gonna have daughters.’ And I’m so mad, because you know when I pop that creative-genius shit? If I had had that, that could’ve been my one moment where I’m like: ‘Okay, fuck all the conversation. Look at that. I called that one.’”